One of the traditional foods that is blessed and served at a Slava is žito (wheat) also known as koljivo; it is similar to the kutia (though minus any poppy seeds) made in Russia and Ukraine. For more about koljivo, go here. The žito is often served as a mound on a large flat plate and covered in powdered sugar and sometimes decorated with walnuts or chocolate chips placed in the shape of a cross. However, our Bishop’s creative mother molded the žito in to the shape of a Romanesque church.
How to make žito? I make it using equal amouts of
- cracked wheat (and sometimes add a handful of four-grain cereal for more texture) cooked per package instructions (usually 1 part cereal to 2 parts water) and cooled to room temperature
- ground walnuts
- powdered sugar
Start with equal amounts of all the ingredients, say 2 cups of each, and stir with a wooden spoon. The mixture should be very thick and sticky. Adjust the sugar to taste. Also, based on personal preference, add cinnamon, allspice or cloves, nutmeg, and a teaspoon of Cointreau (an orange liqueur) or rum. Put in a decorative bowl and chill. Before serving, keep it in the bowl and decorate with powdered sugar, nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, etc., or unmold unto a large plate and proceed to decorate.